Thursday, April 9, 2009
(Part 49) Zappa, Gail, And Bobby Jameson
I had taken to going up to Zappa's house in Laurel Canyon and writing songs on his living room floor after Frank's and my attempts at making records together. Most of what I wrote up there became a lot of the stuff used in the making of "Color Him In" though at the time I had no idea that would be the case. I just liked hanging around with Frank cause all either of us did was work all the time. We didn't talk a lot because we were busy most of the time and were both pretty comfortable with that arrangement.
But on one particular day Frank did want to talk and it was about my girlfriend Gail. Gail use to go with me to Frank's and just hang out while we were doing stuff. I knew she and Frank got along real well and that was fine with me, but that afternoon when he asked if he could talk to me about something that was different than all the times Frank and I had been together. I could tell that it was something very important to him so I really gave it my full attention. Like I said, it was about Gail. I could see he was having a tough time getting to the point and realized it was because he didn't feel too comfortable bringing up the subject.
"I know Gail's your girlfriend," he said, "but I wanted to know how serious you were about her?" "I don't know Frank, I just kind a hang around with her you know. I don't think I'm too serious about her other than we just hang around together, why?" "Well," said Frank, "I really like her and I don't want to create any problems for you, so I thought I better talk to you about it and..." "Hey man, no problem. if that's all it is don't worry about it. You can do whatever you want. I'm not gonna be bothered by it, really" I said. Frank stared at me for a second or two and then said,"really?" "Really man," I said, "it's ok. If you like her and she likes you then whatever you guys decide is fine with me." He seemed immediately relieved and that was all that was ever said about it.
Gail was staying with me up at the house on Woodrow Wilson Dr. where all the LSD was being sold. I don't think I ever remember Gail getting loaded much she just happened to be around people like me who did. I had a bedroom at the house with a bathroom attached that was pretty much across the hall from the front door. On one particular night Gail was in the bedroom lying or sitting on the bed and I had gone into the bathroom to write. I used to sit up on the sink, it was big, and lean against the wrap around mirrors in there and write lyrics. On this one night I'd dropped some acid and was waiting for it to kick in. As I noticed the first waves of being loaded flooding in I heard this loud pounding on the front door which was about 12 or 15 feet from where I was sitting.
The next thing I heard was a huge crash coming from the hall outside the bathroom where I was now beginning to hallucinate. I jumped off the sink and went through the door connected to the bedroom where Gail was standing at attention, it appeared, and staring wide eyed at something. The look on her face was fear, but I didn't know about what. I was hallucinating so much at that point I couldn't figure out what was going on. I heard something like yelling, but I couldn't make out what it was or where it was coming from. I just kept moving around the room trying to put the pieces together when all of a sudden I heard clearly, "Stop moving or I'm going to kill you," the voice yelled. I looked in the direction of the sound and directly into the barrel of a 12 guage police riot gun which was aimed directly at my face.
The guy with the shotgun was shaking and screaming trying to get me to quit moving. If you can imagine, try to think what a 12 guage shotgun barrel looks like while your on acid. All of a sudden reality slammed back into my consciousness. We were in the middle of a drug bust and this guy was an undercover plain clothes narc! Fuck! What a trip! I was hallucinating on acid and was in the middle of a drug bust with a guy about to shoot me and I finally stopped moving. I stood deadly still at that point and glanced at Gail, who looked like she was gonna have a heart attack. This was one of the worst nights of my life, and I'm sure Gail's too, and it went on for hours while about 14 cops went through everything in that house. I sat handcuffed on the floor and just tried to keep remembering what was happening and that I was on a drug. I kept saying to myself over and over again, "Don't lose it Bobby, don't freak out or these guy's are gonna kill you. Keep it together man, keep it together." I think that was the last time I saw Gail until the 70's, when I ran into her and Frank at a recording studio she was then Gail Zappa and wanted nothing to do with me.